Every year spring seems to come when we least expect it. Whether at home or at work, spring is the best time to finish up on the past and prepare for new projects. Don’t forget that spring cleaning should always include your skin, as changes in weather and outdoor activity affects your current skin care program. Now is the time to set up a skin assessment and deep cleansing in preparation for summer sun! Winter can leave us with dry, moisture depleted skin. Professional skin treatments like microdermabrasion, light peels and moisturizing facials are just the thing to get your skin back in shape.

Remember, too, that May and June are the strongest sun months in our area! Just as the best weather in Chicago sets in, sun damage begins to occur before we even begin to think about it. For those who haven’t started, now is the time to kick off your sun protection plan.

For good reasons, our relationship with the sun has undergone a complete turnaround. Years ago, tanned skin was considered the mark of health and beauty. Suntan lotion was used as a moisturizer and lubricant to reduce irritation and help us stay in the sun longer. Little was ever said about sun protection, and virtually nothing was said about photo aging and skin cancer.

Today, our emphasis has turned from suntan lotions, to sunscreens and skin protection. The key to sunscreen is in the sun protection factor or SPF. So how long can you safely stay out in the sun without burning? Simply, the formula is to multiply the # of minutes it takes for unprotected skin to turn pink or red, by the SPF factor. For example, someone with a fair complexion will burn if exposed to full sun for 10 minutes. If they use a SPF30 sunscreen, they will be able stay out a total of 300 minutes (10 x 30 = 300) before the pink sets in. So our fair skinned example has roughly 5 hours of fun in the sun before he or she need to either cover up or reapply.

Recent consumer testing has demonstrated that over 70% of sunscreens on the market will not perform up to the rating on the label. Terms such as sun block, waterproof, or an SPF over 50 can be misleading. Of course, the choice can be easy. Skinceuticals sunscreens are mineral based so they will not irritate sensitive skin and provide proven high SPF protection. We love Skinceuticals’ sunscreens for their elegant, lightweight feel as well as the option of clear or tinted SPF.

While we are on the subject of sun, keep in mind that there might be ingredients in your current skin care regime that will not mix well with the sun. Fragrances and additives can be photo sensitizers which can irritate the skin. Vitamin A, for example, increases skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Another is citrus oils. As an exfoliant and fragrance, citrus oils are wonderful, but add sunlight and skin rashes can spoil the day.

Why not set up your Spring Skin Tune up today? At the Center for Aesthetic Surgery, we are always ready to give you the care you need to keep your skin beautiful and healthy. May is almost here. Let us review where you are, and set a course for a fabulous spring and summer. There is no better time to look better and live better!